A chief credit officer is a person with a senior-management-level position within a bank or other type of financial institution. A person with this title creates policies for granting credit to the institution's customers. While some people may think of credit only along the lines of credit cards, that is not only kind that this person handles. He or she usually has the job of creating procedures and policies for granting credit not only via credit cards, but also through car loans, mortgages, and other types of loans.
An individual who works as a chief credit officer has the job of setting guidelines, developing policies, and creating procedures for extending credit to the financial institution's customers. An individual in this field may also develop strategies that are intended to keep the financial institution's lending portfolio within the realm of the institution's goals. He or she often works in conjunction with the financial institution's board of directors as well as with other senior bank employees to create and administer policies. While an individual who works in this field creates policies in accordance with the financial institution's goals, he must also adhere to laws in his jurisdiction.
In addition to developing and administering bank procedures and policies, a person with this title usually has the responsibility of deciding when to approve or deny credit. While there are others who play a role in the approval and denial of credit, the senior manager typically has the ultimate say so. He or she is usually responsible for approving and denying very complex loans as well. A person in this position may also be responsible for helping to recover the financial institution's assets.
A chief credit officer's job is often supervisory in nature. He or she typically manages staff members and works to ensure the staff's adherence to the established policies. Additionally, this person may help to put a positive face on his or her bank or financial institution by attending events and functions as a representative of the institution for which he or she works.
An individual who is interested in this position will usually need a four-year degree in a major such as business or finance. Someone with an accounting degree may pursue this career as well. In many cases, however, prospective employers expect those in this position to hold master's degrees and have several years of experience in a related position.